Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Love Juice Liquidation

When Brian Witkin opened his Love Juice Labs last year, he scoffed at those who dismissed the discount recording facility as "McStudio." He maintained there were three other successful Love Juice Labs, all franchised by flagship Love Juice in Riverside.

Witkin felt it couldn't go wrong.

"We're really cheap," Witkin, 22, said. "It's what bands can afford.... Big recording studios are a dying breed. Other studios better watch out because we're gonna put them out of business. That's a fact."

It wasn't.

After 13 months of operation, the Love Juice studio, operated out of a warehouse in Otay Mesa, went belly up last month.

The studio produced tracks for local bands Wasting June, Haustorium, and Livid. The Love Juice studio equipment is being liquidated by Stefan Georgi, 21, who was a major investor in the project and who has taken over the assets.

"I just consider it a bad investment and have moved on," says Georgi. "Brian's doing real estate now."

Witkin, who says he wants to go back to school, explains what went wrong.

"We paid [Love Juice] a franchise fee, and then we had to pay them to come down and build the studio. Then we had to buy all the equipment. They were supposed to help us promote the studio and manage the business. They never did anything they agreed to do."

Witkin and Georgi's agreement with Love Juice spelled out that all studio time was to be booked through the Love Juice home office in Riverside.

"We got a lot of complaints from bands," says Georgi. "They would call their number, and no one would answer."

The toll-free number listed on the Love Juice Labs website is disconnected. Love Juice Labs co-owner Dave Swanson responded via e-mail: "We're friends with the licensee's families. They are good kids. I think putting their money into real estate is a good thing, because a venture into the music business requires more time, effort, and patience than they have shown they can apply. The licensees are supposed to do their own promotions locally. Every Love Juice customer from San Diego County was referred to the San Diego location. A lot of North County bands didn't want to go to Otay Mesa to record due to the distance. The licensees failed to follow our policies, which specify no drugs or alcohol in the facility and that the facility is to be kept clean. The bands that know us are used to a clean, safe environment, and many of them refused to record in San Diego again."

When told of these allegations, Georgi responded, "[Co-partner and David's spouse] Donna [Swanson] told us she was getting written statements from the bands regarding drug and alcohol use. It never happened."

"They got 25 percent off the top of everything we made," Georgi says. "It was a crappy deal from the start."

Love Juice Labs was just part of Witkin and Georgi's mini music empire, which also included Pacific Records, a CD-pressing company, and a record store (also called Pacific Records). After three years of operation, the store, which was located within the Epicentre facility, was closed in June.

"The major reason we decided to scale back is that we overextended ourselves, and we didn't focus on one or two core things," says Georgi.

Georgi says he will now oversee Pacific Records and that it will remain an active entity. He said he will focus on developing the career of one of its artists, Get Back Loretta.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

"We had to get canning quickly"

In response to covid, these small brewers now offer beer in cans for the first time
Next Article

What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

How food critic Naomi Wise started her life in San Diego, how food critic Eleanor Widmer ended hers

When Brian Witkin opened his Love Juice Labs last year, he scoffed at those who dismissed the discount recording facility as "McStudio." He maintained there were three other successful Love Juice Labs, all franchised by flagship Love Juice in Riverside.

Witkin felt it couldn't go wrong.

"We're really cheap," Witkin, 22, said. "It's what bands can afford.... Big recording studios are a dying breed. Other studios better watch out because we're gonna put them out of business. That's a fact."

It wasn't.

After 13 months of operation, the Love Juice studio, operated out of a warehouse in Otay Mesa, went belly up last month.

The studio produced tracks for local bands Wasting June, Haustorium, and Livid. The Love Juice studio equipment is being liquidated by Stefan Georgi, 21, who was a major investor in the project and who has taken over the assets.

"I just consider it a bad investment and have moved on," says Georgi. "Brian's doing real estate now."

Witkin, who says he wants to go back to school, explains what went wrong.

"We paid [Love Juice] a franchise fee, and then we had to pay them to come down and build the studio. Then we had to buy all the equipment. They were supposed to help us promote the studio and manage the business. They never did anything they agreed to do."

Witkin and Georgi's agreement with Love Juice spelled out that all studio time was to be booked through the Love Juice home office in Riverside.

"We got a lot of complaints from bands," says Georgi. "They would call their number, and no one would answer."

The toll-free number listed on the Love Juice Labs website is disconnected. Love Juice Labs co-owner Dave Swanson responded via e-mail: "We're friends with the licensee's families. They are good kids. I think putting their money into real estate is a good thing, because a venture into the music business requires more time, effort, and patience than they have shown they can apply. The licensees are supposed to do their own promotions locally. Every Love Juice customer from San Diego County was referred to the San Diego location. A lot of North County bands didn't want to go to Otay Mesa to record due to the distance. The licensees failed to follow our policies, which specify no drugs or alcohol in the facility and that the facility is to be kept clean. The bands that know us are used to a clean, safe environment, and many of them refused to record in San Diego again."

When told of these allegations, Georgi responded, "[Co-partner and David's spouse] Donna [Swanson] told us she was getting written statements from the bands regarding drug and alcohol use. It never happened."

"They got 25 percent off the top of everything we made," Georgi says. "It was a crappy deal from the start."

Love Juice Labs was just part of Witkin and Georgi's mini music empire, which also included Pacific Records, a CD-pressing company, and a record store (also called Pacific Records). After three years of operation, the store, which was located within the Epicentre facility, was closed in June.

"The major reason we decided to scale back is that we overextended ourselves, and we didn't focus on one or two core things," says Georgi.

Georgi says he will now oversee Pacific Records and that it will remain an active entity. He said he will focus on developing the career of one of its artists, Get Back Loretta.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

How they pry Marines out of downtown Oceanside

Darrius Pope cut hair 10 am to 8 pm in Pendleton barracks
Next Article

Corbin’s Q’s Scrumptiously SLO barbecue

Dee-Lish. I mean, an exceptional combo of tastes.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close